Arrest Made in Lincoln Park Rape

May 10, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

A 27-year-old gang member just 12 hours out of jail was arrested today in connection the rape of a woman in a public restroom in a Lincoln Heights  park.

The attack took place about noon Monday in Lincoln Park, south of Mission Road, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

The 31-year-old victim was walking through the park when the suspect, identified as Edgar Lobos of Los Angeles, allegedly pulled a small-caliber handgun and forced the woman into a nearby restroom, Capt. William Hayes, commanding officer of the LAPD’s Robbery-Homicide Division, said at an afternoon news conference.

With information provided by the victim and witnesses in the area, Lobos was identified as the suspect by 10 p.m. Monday and he was picked up about 6:30 a.m. today in the Rampart Division’s patrol area, which includes the Westlake District, Hayes said.

Lobos, who has “a rather lengthy criminal history” of vandalism, possession of controlled substances and domestic violence, is a known gang member with distinctive facial tattoos that aided in his identification, the captain said.

He did not know the victim.

At the time of his arrest on suspicion of kidnapping for the purpose of rape, he was allegedly in possession of a handgun investigators believe was the one used during the crime, Hayes said.

Lobos, who was being held in lieu of $1 million bail, had been released from jail about 12 hours before the attack, according to Hayes.

He had been incarcerated for a narcotics-related parole violation, Hayes said.
 

Police Search for Suspect in Lincoln Park Rape

May 10, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

A woman was attacked and raped in a public restroom in a park in Lincoln Heights, and a search has been launched for the man who assaulted her, police said.

The sexual assault took place about noon on Monday in Lincoln Park, south of Mission Road, said Officer Liliana Preciado, an LAPD spokeswoman.

“The victim was an adult female,” Preciado said. “She was taken to a hospital where she was treated for assault and rape.”

The restroom where the attack took place is in a busy area of the park, near a baseball field.

Preciado said the rapist was a Hispanic man between 25 and 30. The case is being investigated by the sexual assault section of Robbery Homicide Division, Preciado said.

Anyone with information on the assault was asked to call LAPD’s Robbery Homicide, Special Assaults section at (213) 486-6910. Tipsters can also call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS. All tips can be made anonymously.

‘Shelter’ Story of Survival Comes to Outdoor Stage

March 31, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Seven teenagers hold tight to their dreams of a better life as they travel on “la bestia,” a notorious cargo train that runs from Southern to Northern Mexico carrying thousands of unofficial passengers on a dangerous and sometimes deadly journey in search of the “promised land.”

“I will not sleep the whole night so I don’t fall from the train,” says one youngster bravely.

“I’ll tie myself to the train with my belt” to not fall off, boasts another.

These scenes are from “Shelter,” an original theater production from the CalArts Center for New Performance making its world premier with free performances at Plaza de La Raza in Lincoln Heights starting on April 8.

Lea este artículo en Español: ‘Shelter’ Una Historia de Sobrevivencia

Written and conceived by author, performer and CalArts faculty member Marissa Chibas, Shelter depicts the human crisis of immigration as seen through the eyes of young Central Americans so desperate to flee extreme poverty and violence they will risk life and limb atop la bestia or other dangerous routes.

Shelter is based on real life. According to the Pew Charitable Trust, in 2014 about 69,000 unaccompanied minors from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras “flooded the U.S.-Mexico border, traveling alone at great personal peril.”

As the human crisis grew, so did Chibas’ interest. She interviewed several minors attending a Northeast Los Angeles area school and was inspired to tell their stories through the “lens of theater”—which “inspires conversation in ways that traditional news can’t.”

“I did not know the extent of the crisis” when I first started researching, Chibas told EGP. It’s an uncomfortable but important issue people need to be made aware of, she said, explaining her desire to bring the tragedy to public attention.

A talented ensemble of young actors brings life and suspense to Chibas’ words about a group of 14- to 17-year-old unaccompanied minors crossing from Central America to Mexico and into the U.S. seeking asylum. The small cast, four males and three females, bring reality to their roles as immigrant youths riding la bestia, politicians, U.S. border vigilantes and teachers dealing with the problems that come from being an undocumented minor trying to navigate the immigration system and avoid deportation back to the country they fought so hard to escape.

Originally, the plan was to perform Shelter in a real railcar on real train tracks, but that proved too difficult to pull off. Scenic designer and East Los Angeles native Efren Delagadillo Jr. told EGP the production company decided to instead use a 20-foot shipping container as their outdoor stage at Plaza de la Raza in Lincoln Park.

“All of us thought this would be a good fit,” he told EGP.

“Sherlter” premieres April 8 at Plaza de La Raza in Lincoln Heights. (CalArts)

“Sherlter” premieres April 8 at Plaza de La Raza in Lincoln Heights. (CalArts)

CalArts and Plaza de la Raza have a long history of collaboration and there has always been a strong connection with the Eastside community, Chibas told EGP.

According to Plaza’s website, its Community Arts Partnership with CalArts has been offering free programs for youth in the cultural art center for the past 25 years.

“We’re very excited for the local community and people working directly with refugees to see the play, creating a space for conversation,” Chibas said.

“The more people who know about it, the more intolerable it’ll be,” she said about the life endangering trek made by children to this country and the voices calling to expel them from the country.

“I want this to be a piece the community is proud of,” admits Chibas. She hopes people who can relate to the issue through personal experience will go see one of the free performances taking place over two consecutive weekends.

Delgadillo, who was born and raised in City Terrace, said he’s very proud to have a part in creating such a touching story.

Many voices go unheard, he said. It’s so scary how people try to find a better life, yet no one talks about all the people that die during the journey, he told EGP incredulously.

While his role in the production may be confined to set design, for Delgadillo, the production is personal, reminding him of his own father’s journey to cross the border.

“This is the story of many immigrants, it’s a story about people escaping in search of a better life,” he said.

A separate, more populist, “mobile version” of the play has also been produced to accommodate more audiences in theaters, community centers, conference rooms and parks. Instead of the rail container, actors use cardboard boxes to simulate la bestia.

Shelter’s Mexico City-based director, Martin Acosta, told EGP he was moved he learned of the plight of minors traveling alone. “Even though I’m Mexican, I hadn’t seen the magnitude of this problem,” he said in Spanish. “I was ashamed of myself for being unaware…I considered migration only from the economic aspect.”

It is an atrocity to see thousands of minors crossing Mexico, said Acosta, adding that directing the play has been eye-opening experience. “This is a great opportunity to speak about this issue,” he said.

Chibas agrees and says that everyone involved in the production has in some way become an advocate on the issue.

When you work on something you feel is important, you believe in the importance of sharing, Chibas told EGP, explaining cast members have been personally handing out show flyers in Lincoln Heights.  “A young actor told me, ‘I had never had direct contact with the community I’m performing for,’ and for an actor it is important to have contact with the public,” she said.

We have received positive support from the groups that have already previewed Shelter, but we have also seen people whose assumptions about the issue make them very uncomfortable with our production, Chibas said.

“Even if I read some hurtful comments, I believe it is important to put it out there, to show how they feel—both sides,” she said.

Audiences who attend performances at Plaza de La Raza will hear the sound of a real train passing about half a mile away, bringing an additional level of realism to the play, Delgadillo pointed out.

“Sometimes plays are for art’s sake, this one has cultural, personal value,” he said.

A schedule of performances can be found in EGP’s Community Calendar or at   http://centerfornewperformance.org/project/shelter/ .

Updated: 2:17pm

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Twitter @jackiereporter

jgarcia@egpnews.com

Reuniones para Hablar de los Parques No Es Perdida de Tiempo, Dice el Condado

January 14, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Docenas de talleres públicos de la Evaluación de Necesidades en los Parques se están llevando a cabo a través de las 88 ciudades del condado de Los Ángeles y áreas no incorporadas para identificar los recursos de sus parques y sus necesidades, pero algunos de los que ya han asistido a las reuniones se preguntan si ha valido la pena su tiempo ya que funcionarios del condado admiten que actualmente no hay fondos disponibles para convertir los aportes en acción.

En un taller del 7 de enero en el Centro de Recreación Alpine de Chinatown, el supervisor principal del departamento de parques y recreación de la Ciudad de Los Ángeles, Frank Herrera, dijo que las reuniones se llevan a cabo para reunir información, pero explicó que “no hay un compromiso” del Condado para implementar cualquiera de las recomendaciones porque no hay fondos disponibles.

Read this article in English: Park Assessment Meetings Not Waste of Time, Says County

“Es una oportunidad para avisarle al Condado cuales proyectos de parques son más importantes para la comunidad”, dijo Herrera.

Una vez que se colecte toda la información en mayo o junio, el Condado compartirá la información con las ciudades para que la utilicen, si lo desean, al considerar la asignación de fondos para reparaciones, dijo Herrera.

La Evaluación de Necesidades en los Parques ayudará a determinar cómo mejorar, ampliar y hacer más accesibles los parques, según la información del proyecto.

Julie de la Torre asistió a la reunión en el Centro Recreativo Alpine porque quiere reparaciones en el parque Yale de Chinatown, donde lleva a sus dos hijas. Ella le dijo a EGP se sintió engañada cuando se dio cuenta que el taller era para colectar votos de las necesidades, pero no para empezar a trabajar en las reparaciones de inmediato.

“Venimos aquí con la esperanza de ver cambios y nos vamos sin nada”, dijo. “¿Por qué nos hacen votar si no hay resultados de su parte?”, se quejó, en referencia a los 10 ‘stickers’ que les dieron a los participantes para votar por reparaciones o cambios que les gustaría ver en sus parques locales como baños más limpios , campos multiusos, zonas de ejercicios, canchas de tenis, un parque para perros, etc.

Julie de la Torre revisa las votaciones de los parques junto a su mamá en el taller del 7 de enero en Chinatown. (EGP foto por Jacqueline García)

Julie de la Torre revisa las votaciones de los parques junto a su mamá en el taller del 7 de enero en Chinatown. (EGP foto por Jacqueline García)

“Las personas de la comunidad realmente están cansadas de cómo el condado y la ciudad han respondido a nuestras necesidades”, Craig Wong le dijo a EGP después del taller. “¿Qué clase de compromiso están dispuestos a evaluar en cuanto a ‘la gente quiere ciertas cosas’ en lugar de ‘la gente necesita ciertas cosas?’”.

Wayland Tam estuvo de acuerdo con Wong añadiendo que durante los últimos 50 años su comunidad de Chinatown ha estado “llorando por una piscina”, pero aún continúan esperando.

“Muchas personas de bajos ingresos no tienen la accesibilidad para conducir 5 millas para ir a una piscina a la preparatoria Central o L.A. Arts”, dijo. “Pero nadie nos deja entrar, y nosotros somos contribuyentes de impuestos”.

De acuerdo con el Condado, los talleres–que comenzaron en marzo de 2015 y finalizarán en febrero–han sido programados para “incluir a todas las comunidades dentro del Condado en un proceso de colaboración para recopilar datos e insumo para futuras decisiones acerca de los parques y centros recreativos”.

El Condado de Los Ángeles estima que cada año unas 70 millones de personas visitan los parques del condado y participan en programas patrocinados por esta entidad.

Rita Robinson, directora del proyecto con el Departamento de Parques y Recreación del Condado, le dijo a EGP que las personas que asisten a los talleres “no están perdiendo el tiempo de ningún modo”.

Explicó que la anterior Junta de Supervisores en 2014 respaldo la aprobación de la Propuesta P, una medida electoral propuesta a último minuto para reemplazar fondos de la Proposición A–la Ley de Parques Seguros en los Barrios–la cual expiraba en 2015. Los fondos de la Proposición A proveían para la “adquisición, restauración y rehabilitación “de los parques del condado, así como recreación y tierras naturales.

La Propuesta P fracasó en las urnas, perdiendo por un margen de 4%.

Después se les notificó a los supervisores que habían fallado en “entablar una conversación con la comunidad” y el no incluir proyectos específicos en la proposición fue un error, señaló Robinson.

Por lo tanto, cuando la Supervisora Hilda Solís se unió a la junta, pidió que el condado lleve a cabo una evaluación para ver “qué tenemos y qué necesitamos” en los parques, dijo Robinson.

Los supervisores han invertido $3.5 millones para cubrir los costos de los consultores, la recopilación de datos, reuniones de divulgación, los estipendios de la ciudad y otros recursos necesarios para garantizar que “el proceso sea más transparente” para evaluar las necesidades del parque, añadió Robinson.

Las 189 áreas de estudio incluyen los parques comunitarios, parques vecinales, parques pequeños, juegos infantiles, instalaciones recreativas que incluyen piscinas de las ciudades y el Condado, centros de recreación, gimnasios y parques de patinaje, parques regionales y centros de recreación de escuelas con acuerdos de uso conjunto.

Además, senderos a lo largo de canales ara control de inundaciones y los derechos de vía públicos fuera de los parques de propiedad por separado también caen en el perfil de evaluación.

Sin embargo, los cementerios, campos de golf, playas, plazas e instalaciones de arte público, no serán evaluados, según el sitio web del proyecto.

No hay una línea de tiempo para asegurar los ingresos de implementación en cualquiera de las recomendaciones o proyectos concluidos, sin embargo, los supervisores están considerando una futura medida electoral para reemplazar los fondos perdidos de cuando la Propuesta A expiró.

Esta vez, lo harán con un plan y un proyecto en la mano, dijo Robinson.

“Los comentarios de la gente ayudan para la elaboración del futuro”, enfatizó.

El informe final determinará cuáles son las áreas más necesitadas, priorizará y delineará los costes para posibles proyectos de parques dentro de cada área de estudio, señala el sitio web del proyecto.

Un taller a las 7pm en el parque Lincoln, y más reuniones al este y sureste están programadas a lo largo de enero.

De la Torre dijo que espera que funcionarios de la ciudad y del condado no sólo estén creando más falsas esperanzas.

“Hemos estado esperando cambios por años”, dijo. “Muéstrenos que es por lo que estamos votando y si vale la pena”.

 

Para saber mas información acerca la Evalación de Necesidades de Parques visite: http://lacountyparkneeds.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/LAParks_WhatIsTheNeedsAssessment100915_Spanish.pdf

 

Próximas reuniones del Condado para evaluar los parques públicos:

Jan. 14    7pm    Lincoln Park 3501 Valley Blvd. L.A. 90031
Jan. 14    6pm    South Gate City Hall 8650 California Ave. South Gate 90280
Jan. 19    7pm    Bell Community Center 6250 Pine Ave, Bell,  90201
Jan. 20    6pm    Pico Rivera Senior Center 9200 Mines Blvd, Pico Rivera, 90660
Jan. 20    6pm    Commerce Senior Center 2555 Commerce Way, Commerce, 90040
Jan. 23    10am    Huntington Park Community Center 6925 Salt Lake Ave, Huntington Park, 90255
Jan. 23    10am    Monterey Park Service Clubhouse  400 S. McPherrin Ave, Monterey Park, 91754
Jan. 28    5pm    Bell Gardens Veterans Park 6662 Loveland St., Bell Gardens, 90201
Jan. 28    6:30pm    Montebello Senior Citizen Center  115 S Taylor Ave, Montebello, 90640
Jan. 28    6pm    Saybrook Park 6250 Northside Dr, East Los Angeles, 90022
Feb. 3    6pm    City Terrace Park 1126 N Hazard Ave, Los Angeles, 90063
TBD    TBD    Alhambra
TBD    TBD     Vernon City Hall 4305 S. Santa Fe Ave., Vernon, CA 90058

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Twitter @jackiereporter

jgarcia@epgnews.com

Iconic Statue Restored After Years of Neglect

January 15, 2015 by · 1 Comment 

In the mid-1800s, Florence Nightingale worked tirelessly to organize and train nurses to care for English soldiers wounded during the Crimean War, setting the path for the founding of modern nursing.

A century and a half later, however, a sculpture of the nurse overlooking the lake at Lincoln Park, located just east of downtown Los Angeles, has faced its own battles, the target of vandals and graffiti taggers for years.

Lea este artículo en Español: Estatua es Restaurada Después de Años de Abandono

The statue of Florence Nightingale has been at the park for eight decades, and fell into disrepair after years of neglect and outright vandalism; its hands, nose and lamp smashed off, graffiti damaging the paint. For years, however, complaints to the city requesting the statue be restored were ignored. The city also turned down the offer from Azusa University’s nursing history conservation program to restore and relocate the statue to the school’s campus because the statue is a “city asset.”

That has now changed.

Councilman Gil Cedillo and supporters unveil the restored sculpture of Florence Nightingale at Lincoln Park. (EGP photo by Jacqueline Garcia)

Councilman Gil Cedillo and supporters unveil the restored sculpture of Florence Nightingale at Lincoln Park. (EGP photo by Jacqueline Garcia)

Last week, Los Angeles Councilman Gil Cedillo, who represents Lincoln Heights where the park and statue are located, was joined by dozens of community members and nurses from different medical entities for the unveiling of the fully-restored nearly 9-foot tall statue, its face, hands and lamp restored to their former beauty. Graffiti was removed from the sculpture and its title-bearing plaque.

“This is an important step for us in recapturing public space,” remarked Cedillo during the ceremony.

Third generation Lincoln Heights resident Stephen Sarinana-Lampson told EGP he brought the sculpture’s disrepair to Cedillo’s attention during his 2013 campaign for office, explaining that the statue is very dear to many of those living in the area that Cedillo hoped to represent.

While few people may actually know the history behind the woman who has come to be known locally at the “lady of the lake”—including some of those at the senior center a few feet away—they are accustomed to her presence and have grown quite attached the statue, explains Sarinana-Lampson.

“This is something that my mom used to see when she was a kid and for me to be around it as I grew up too,” he said.

Sarinana-Lampson told EGP he is very happy the statue was not moved and that the local landmark is back in “all her glory.”

Florence Nightingale is a “patron saint” of sorts in the nursing profession. Her work is credited for improving unsanitary conditions at a British hospital where wounded soldiers died from infectious diseases rather than their wounds. Under her supervision, the number of soldier deaths was reduced by two-thirds.

After the war, Nightingale continued her work and wrote about her experiences, reforming the delivery of healthcare worldwide. She died in London in 1910.

The renovated statue depicts a nurse Florence Nightingale. (EGP photo by Jacqueline Garcia)

The renovated statue depicts a nurse Florence Nightingale. (EGP photo by Jacqueline Garcia)

The sculpture by David Edstrom was commissioned during the New Deal Era of the 1930s by the Federal Art Project and sponsored by the Hospital Council of Southern California.

It was then given as a gift to the City of Los Angeles and with the approval of the Los Angeles Municipal Art Commission, it was accepted into the City’s Art Collection in 1937.

Work to restore the statue was started in the summer of 2014 and took 6-8 weeks to complete, according to Felicia Filer, director of Public Art for the City of Los Angeles.

However, a few days before its scheduled unveiling in September of last year, it was vandalized again, Filer told EGP.

“We brought the conservationists back up and worked internally on a project to prevent that from occurring again,” she said, adding that the total conservation cost was $20,350.

Cedillo does not think fencing off the statue to keep it from being vandalized again is a good idea, and told EGP he hopes people will understand that all the sculptures and memorials at Lincoln Park are a part of history and should be maintained for generations to come.

“I’m trusting that the pride of the community, the vigilance of the community, will be enough to persuade people from coming and disrespecting the public space,” he said.

Cedillo told EGP that the restoration is just one of the many improvements his office is working with the Departments of Recreations and Parks and Cultural Affairs to bring about at the park, which also includes a recreation center, swimming pool, and the Plaza de La Raza cultural and art center.

The councilman said plans call for re-opening the closed swimming pool, fixing the sidewalks around the park, adding more parking for employees, cleaning restrooms and restoring other sculptures and memorials at the park, including The Wall Las-Memorias HIV/AIDS memorial.

“We will transform this [park] back to what it should be; public recreation where people can come and have some solace,” he said. The park is one of the city’s many “gems,” said Cedillo, noting it has been enjoyed by generations of Angelenos.

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Twitter @jackieguzman

jgarcia@egpnews.com

 

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